I love the idea of creating digital content that can be used for teaching, learning, reflection and celebration. Our classroom blogs at AIS-R are full of digital content. It is mostly material that teachers have curated by sourcing out the abundant resources of YouTube and Vimeo. More and more we are starting to create content either ourselves or by having students contribute. My STEM classroom is no different. There is no end to the great resources that can be found to support the learning in my class. My favorite YouTube channels include granddad is an old man, The King of Random, Make, Autodesk 123D, and Tinkercad. I was recently introduced to Smartereveryday which looks amazing.
I have also talked in previous posts about some of the recent iLearning initiatives that we have been working on in the elementary school.I think our teachers are really ahead of the curve in digital storytelling. With the leadership of our technology integrationist/coach Sean Walmsley and the support of our admin we are now much more adept at creating digital stories of our own or instructing and empowering kids to be producers of content in their own right. I have also been inspired to ramp up my efforts to create content and I am proud to say that my YouTube channel has seen a recent bump in new original content.
Where I would really like to see my channel go is to add content created more by the kids. I have some really great fifth grade helpers who edited my parachute and tumblewing videos.
What I would like to see now is to have them work together to create content from start to finish. For example, I want my grade fives to document their learning digitally throughout an entire unit in boats. I want them to share their successes and failures to help each other learn and to acknowledge and celebrate the successes gained through failure. I created a model of this for them and posted it to YouTube.
My biggest limitation is time. I see each class once in a 6 day cycle for only 50 minutes (if all the stars align and they are right on time). They also really enjoy the hands on aspects of manipulating materials to create a boat. It often seems counter-intuitive to stop while building to take a picture or video. This is the important part of the process though because the journey in STEM is more important than the destination, the process is more important than the product and I want them to see and reflect on it. Working in partnership or in small groups surely there is time to grab the iPad and snap a quick shot or video.
So when I think carefully about it I am convinced that is it is worth it to take the time to create this digital story. Now I just have to make it a priority and get it done. I am lucky that as a school division this has been an important initiative and that much of the heavy lifting is also being done by the homeroom teachers and the technology integrationist/coach. I have new units coming up and this will be a good place to start the documentation of the story from beginning to end and through each iteration along the way.